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RiverArts Clay Studio
204 High Street
RiverArts’ popular Clay Studio, the only one in our area, provides equipment and workspace for our many potters, as well as classes from beginning pottery and sculpture to advanced workshops.
Pottery classes include hand building, throwing on the wheel, raku, and the exploration of different glazing and firing techniques. We endeavor to inspire the creative forces in all of us, from beautiful vessels, gracefully formed on the potter’s wheel to imaginative hand-built forms, mosaics, and even porcelain painting. Many short workshops enable even the inexperienced to produce a personal piece of art you can show at home or present as a gift.
Contact Jessica Coner, Clay Studio Manager, for additional information.
The Clay Studio workspace and equipment are available at scheduled times for class practice or individual work by community artists and potters with knowledge of studio technique.
Additional fees are charged for clay and glaze firings.
CLAY STUDIO CLASSES
For information on current offerings, go to our Classes page.
The Clay Studio draws from a talented pool of Eastern Shore artists for the majority of our classes. Special workshops by regionally and nationally known ceramics artists are scheduled on a regular basis. Please check our Clay Studio Classes page for current offerings.
Marilee Schumann has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from the University of Maryland and taught ceramics at Washington College in Chestertown. Functional and decorative ceramic vessels with contemporary style and elegant glazes are a specialty although her work encompasses cast metal, mixed media constructions and even rustic furniture. She has won awards for her sculpture and created a piece for Kofi Anan in his role as President of the U.N. She is co-owner of the Tree of Life Gallery in Chestertown, MD.
Jessica Coner, Manager of the RiverArts Clay Studio, has studied pottery under Sue Tessum, Marilee Schumann, and Rick Bisgyer. You may have seen her selling her beautiful hand-crafted pieces at the Chestertown Farmers market last summer. Her interests in botanical illustration, life drawing, mixed media, contemporary art, fine metal working, horticultural design and botany inform her studio work. Travels to the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and Israel have also inspired her. Home again on the Eastern Shore, Jessica is an accomplished potter, as well as a mother, wife, professional landscaper, and nature lover.
Doug Sassi has been a potter since 1962. He has a BS in Art Education and an MFA with a major in Ceramics and a minor in Art History. He has operated his pottery in Still Pond, MD, since 1978. He taught Ceramics and Sculpture in high schools from 1971 until retiring in 2011. He has taught workshops for local organizations in Kent County three times. You can see his work on Facebook (Doug Sassi Pottery) and on Google+. Mr. Sassi makes his own clay and glazes and works primarily on the potters’ wheel. His work is high-fired stoneware and almost entirely functional.He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen and the subsidiary of the American Crafts Council, American Crafts Enterprises. He has exhibited in prestigious craft markets such as the ACC’s Rhinebeck and Baltimore Winter Market fairs. In 1975 and 1976 he was an artist-in-residence in Pennsylvania public schools. In 1977 he was granted by the National Arts Foundation to host an apprentice for a year in his studio.
Rick Bisgyer developed an appreciation for fine ceramic art in his youth, surrounded by his parents’ collection of contemporary pottery. He finally got his hands in clay at Glen Echo Pottery, a community art studio outside of Washington DC, and it was not long before he built the first pottery wheel at his high school and started teaching his classmates the basics. That love of teaching has carried through his life, earning him a Bachelor of Science in Education at Georgia State University, and teaching positions in a variety of settings. For the past 8 years Rick has been a full time ceramic artist working in porcelain. He has been represented by fine craft galleries across the country and has juried into some of the nation’s most prestigious craft shows. Throughout this time he has continued his commitment to community arts, helping to create and enhance community art organizations, and enjoying the rewards of teaching in them.
Gia Campana earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, in Philadelphia. In addition to local exhibits, she creates commissioned work for private clients. She has been a leader in developing the Clay Studio. Gia finds clay irresistible and imparts her love of the medium to students of all ages as she helps them transform their ideas into works of art.
Karen Douglas has loved working in clay since she was a teenager. She received a degree in Art History from Virginia Commonwealth University where she took courses in wheel throwing. She continued her education with two internationally-known potters who insisted she start with handbuilding and at the same time was also introduced to raku. Karen became an administrator for Earthworks, a company that sold clay equipment. She also got involved with the Hand Workshop, a non-profit organization that specialized in clay. There she taught classes to adults and children. Karen still loves handbuilding and raku but of late is exploring how to print monotypes on clay.